Drought relief: Devendra Fadnavis meets Prime Minister’s principal Secretaryhttps://indianexpress.com/article/cities/mumbai/drought-relief-devendra-fadnavis-meets-prime-ministers-principal-secy-5483932/

Drought relief: Devendra Fadnavis meets Prime Minister’s principal Secretary

Explaining how grave the drought was, with almost 85 lakh farmers being affected by poor rainfall, the CM said that while water scarcity has made it impossible for farmers to take up rabi cultivation, food production in the state is likely to be hit.

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Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis met Nripendra Misra, the Principle Secretary to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

CHIEF MINISTER Devendra Fadnavis on Friday met Nripendra Misra, the Principle Secretary to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in New Delhi, seeking a financial assistance of Rs 7,962.63 crore to tackle the prevailing drought in Maharashtra.

On October 30, the state government has declared drought in 151 of the 355 talukas.

A statement issued by the CMO after the meeting quoted Fadnavis as saying, “I requested Nripendra Misra to consider our proposal… The funds are necessary towards providing relief and rehabilitation to the people. I apprised him of the severity of the drought situation in the state.”

Explaining how grave the drought was, with almost 85 lakh farmers being affected by poor rainfall, the CM said that while water scarcity has made it impossible for farmers to take up rabi cultivation, food production in the state is likely to be hit.

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“The financial aid is necessary, as the government will have to provide relief to drought-hit villages for the next six months till the arrival of the next monsoons in June 2019,” the statement added.

“Misra has assured of expediting the process and considering positively the state government’s proposal for financial aid,” it added. The statement informed that a central team, headed by Joint Secretary (Agriculture) Chhavi Jha, has concluded its three-day tour of the drought-hit areas. It added that while the team has expressed serious concerns, a detailed report on the drought situation will be forwarded to the Union agriculture ministry.

Besides, the chief minister also raised other important projects with the Centre.

Fadnavis demanded that Maharashtra be allotted six lakh more houses under the Pradhan Mantri Aawas Yojana as the state government had provided up to Rs 50,000 for purchase of plots of 500 sq ft for the scheme. He also requested for the early finalisation of draft Coastal Regulation Zone notification as well as that of eco-sensitive zones of Tungareshwar, Thane and Solapur’s Great Indian Bustard Wildlife Sanctuary.

Further, he requested for deployment of e-vehicles in tiger safaris to promote eco-tourism in Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve.